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What is your favorite herbal remedy for a great night's sleep? — The Grow Network Community
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What is your favorite herbal remedy for a great night's sleep?

karenjanickikarenjanicki Posts: 325 ✭✭✭
edited October 21 in General Health

Sleep is extremely important to us. It is necessary for bodily rejuvenation and mental wellbeing, yet it's safe to say too many people get far too little of it. When you are having difficulty getting to sleep what remedy to you choose to help get some shut eye? I use a tea called "sleepy time", with an addition of homemade tincture of Valerian and Skullcap which is great to help with racing thought. What do you guys use?



  • jodienancarrowjodienancarrow Mid North Coast AustraliaPosts: 653 admin

    @karenjanicki my sleepy time herbal tea mixture is 4 tblsp of each of the following, tulsi, passionflower, camomile, valerian. ( about a weeks worth) Mix in a jar and put 2 tblsp of that mixture in my teapot about 1hr before bed. All herbs are dried. I have a skullcap tincture and take 2 tblsp of that on its own, not in the tea. Also started to use CBD oil, at night.

  • WendyWendy Posts: 70 ✭✭✭

    Camomile and lemon balm tea works for me. Lemon balm is a nervine, good for relaxing. I also take lemon balm tincture if I awake in the night, it is kept in a bottle beside my bed.

  • Megan VenturellaMegan Venturella Posts: 279 ✭✭✭

    I make a tincture of equal parts valerian, scullcap, and hops. It was part of an herbal course with Rosemary Gladstar and really wonderful to have on hand.

  • frogvalleyfrogvalley Posts: 301 ✭✭✭

    Three cheers for valerian! I hate to admit it, but my goto for a good night's sleep is Gumption cider. Puts me out long and hard. Anything with chamomile is an instant non-starter no matter how little I leave it to steep. Acupressure helps. Dairy/cheese with carbs help too. Homeopathic remedies that I use for sleep: Mag Phos, Nux Vomica, Graphites. Occasionally I will put one drop of Lavender essential oil next to my pillow. I can't take it more than one night or two drops as it mucks with my sinuses. Being hydrated helps.

  • Annie KateAnnie Kate Eastern Ontario, CanadaPosts: 254 ✭✭✭

    Well, @judsoncarroll4 then you know a whole lot more about breathing and relaxing than I do! :) I've been told yoga is also helpful for sleep, but I've never tried it. Have you found that it is a good for that, either with yourself or the people you used to teach?

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 2,392 admin

    Not really for me. I'm sure it helps others. But after I blew out a couple of discs, I really couldn't do it anymore - switched to chi gong and tai chi.... then on to weight lifting once I got my back stabilized... being too flexible is dangerous for me. Basically, though in regard to sleep, if I focus on anything i can't sleep. If I think about my breathing, I'll be awake all night thinking about my breathing. My problem is that I cannot turn my brain off. I've probably written 100 books in my head, while trying to sleep. When I do sleep, I have very vivid dreams that are like action movies, spy thrillers and mysteries, that usually wake me up... the weird thing is, I haven't seen anything like that since Sean Connery played James Bond and I only read non-fiction!

  • jodienancarrowjodienancarrow Mid North Coast AustraliaPosts: 653 admin

    @judsoncarroll4 I was going to ask how you got thru so many things in one day. Now I know that you hardly sleep! You're an amazing human being. Clear thought process', acurate discussion, clear advice. Im in awe. I used to think I was all those things but with years comes weariness of the brain. Well done you. Glass half full kind of guy, love it.

    @Annie Kate have tried many deep breathing techniques, end up yawning, eyes watering and still can't sleep.

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Posts: 2,392 admin

    Pshaw! And, you've still got it - I doubt you've lost a step.

  • Lisa KLisa K Posts: 335 ✭✭✭✭

    When my brain is going crazy and I cannot sleep I will write down every word that pops into my thought at that moment, it does not need to make sense or even sentences I just get all of the words and thoughts out until nothing else comes up or it becomes hard to think of something. When I have done this in the past I could almost see my brain emptying.

    Also every night I have been doing a 5-year journal plus I try to read a chapter of a book every night. Lately I have been also making a "herbal milk" using certain herbs that are for general health & coconut milk.

  • FergFerg Currently United States, Appalachia. Previously Great Lakes, GNYMA, Germany.Posts: 290 ✭✭✭

    I was listening to one of my favorite Ayurvedic Gurus talking about sleep and sleep aids. I've had decent luck with valerian in a capsule form, combined with wild lettuce, but no matter how much I took, I'd wake up four hours later. In this talk, the practicioner mentioned that taking more of something might help you fall asleep sooner, but doesn't impact how long a person might sleep. I felt a lot better about it after that talk. His advice was to have a second dose on hand for when that wake-up happened, but also talked then about using adaptogens asuch as ginseng and ashwaganda to counteract stresses so that, in the long run, being able to sleep longer might happen.

    He also talked about breathing, but not just deep breathing, the kind of breathing where one pauses between the inhalation and the exhalation, holding, for a moment, and incorporating humming or vocal vibrations. The other day I sat outside with my kitty friends and played around with vocalizations and breathing and I really did feel more relaxed and balanced afterwards It was probably a good 30 -45 minutes of improv though. If only I could make some of these things into habits - at the moment I'm too hit-or-miss with my practice.

  • monica197monica197 Posts: 378 ✭✭✭

    I’ve recently discovered that simply adjusting the temp to 73 degrees helps tremendously.

  • water2worldwater2world Sherry Jochen Sevierville, TNPosts: 104 ✭✭✭

    Karenjanicki, have you ever tried a foot soak? A nice blend that I like is Chamomile, Lavender, Epsom salts---adding a bit of Hops seems to give it extra zzzzzz's for me. Try any of the herbs that you like in a sleepy time tea--you might even soak your feet while sipping your tea.

  • karenjanickikarenjanicki Posts: 325 ✭✭✭

    There are some very good suggestions here. Some I have heard and some I haven't. A nice herbal foot soak with a cup of tea sounds delightful! I worked on third for years and my husband still does so I keep odd hours in order to spend time with him. It was hard for awhile getting into a rhythm. They say that the best time to sleep is actually between 10pm and 2am and I almost am never asleep at these times haha. I usually head to bed around 5am. I sleep great now, better during the day than I ever did at night. It's odd and probably not the best for most people but it works well for me. I find though that changing my sleep hours even slightly really seems to mess up my sleep though. They say having a set bedtime and sticking with it really helps. I like to head to bed after I feed the animals, spend a little time in my evening devotions and prayer and then usually I'm out like a light. I have had times of insomnia but they come and go. For me that tea blend and tincture combo can help break that, and I love Skullcap for it's ability to squelch those racing thoughts. Deep breathing exercises are so good too. I like the app relax lite. It sets the breathing rhythm to music and it's so soothing. It's interesting someone mentioned about dairy. My husband has a snack routine for bed if he can get it of cheese and something with vinegar? He loves cheese and olives or pickled peppers. He says it helps him sleep. My grandma loved milk right before bed and so does my mom. I'm curious why that works? @judsoncarroll4 I'm sorry you're having such a hard time finding something that works for you :"(

  • Annie KateAnnie Kate Eastern Ontario, CanadaPosts: 254 ✭✭✭

    How about lots of exercise during the day? Enough to make you tired? It doesn't take much to make me physically tired LOL but if I am active and outside as much as possible during the day I sleep much better. My husband says the same thing is true for him.

    I have had racing brain for my whole life but have been working on it and sometimes I can relax nowadays. It is a real trial, and probably not a healthy one.

    There are some amazing people on this group! Thanks for all the inspiration!

  • annbeck62annbeck62 Posts: 194 ✭✭✭

    There is a specific type of long deep breathing helpful for sleep where you curl your tongue like a taco and inhale long and deep the exhale is traditionally through the nose.

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,334 ✭✭✭✭

    @Annie Kate There is such a thing as too much exercise. When I was in the military, my job was so hard that it took at least two hours for the pain to stop so I could sleep.

    Bottom line: don't overdo the exercise.

  • FergFerg Currently United States, Appalachia. Previously Great Lakes, GNYMA, Germany.Posts: 290 ✭✭✭
    edited September 25

    @Annie Kate @shllnzl - no kidding re: too much exercise. Also hard exercise right before bed, not great for me. I found a swim team at one point with a coworker, but we couldn't get a pool in the morning before work, so we started at 7 pm. The first night I thought, ah, i'll get used to this. Nope. Had to quit from the up-all-night syndrome. I don't do well with being awake all night then heading to brain-intensive, hand-coordination-intensive work.

    My first week at the arboratum, before I knew how to pace myself, was sheer sleepless agony.

  • Annie KateAnnie Kate Eastern Ontario, CanadaPosts: 254 ✭✭✭

    @shllnzl and @Ferg Yes,don't overdo the exercise! (As a person with ME/CFIDS/SEID I know about that in a totally different way.) For people with physical jobs, this is an important thing to keep in mind, too. There's a balance, for sure.

    But for those of us who spend a lot of time sitting down, it's important for our sleep to prioritize morning exercise, preferably outside, as well as 'movement breaks' throughout the day even when it's not a garden day or in the winter. That helps stabilize the circadian rhythm and improves sleep.


    Kefir. When I was really little, I had a hard time falling sleep, every night. Then I started drinking kefir and I fell asleep so quickly!

  • Janelle KeithJanelle Keith Posts: 6 ✭✭✭

    I like to make a hot tea of lemon balm, lemon verbena and a little mint. It's very relaxing. I generally avoid chamomile because it doesn't sit right (ragweed allergy). I started growing skullcap this year (won't harvest until next) and looking forward to adding that to my bag of things.

  • MelissaLynneMelissaLynne NE Washington🌲 Zone 5aPosts: 197 ✭✭✭

    I’ve been drinking a lot of catnip & lemon balm tea with a spoonful of local honey throughout the day and at bedtime. It helps me be less anxious and more relaxed. :)

  • annflancanannflancan Posts: 68 ✭✭✭

    Kids going to bed on time, work obligations completed, weeds pulled, chores done, bills paid, husband fed and cutting zzzz, kitchen cleaned, and a cup o chamomile tea does the trick for me.

  • JayleneJaylene Posts: 37 ✭✭✭

    A tincture combination of Passion flower Skullcap and Kava sometimes with Lemon balm taken a couple hours before bed and 1/2 hour before bed and again if I wake up. And even though it’s not herbal Magnesium

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,334 ✭✭✭✭

    I have used some of the above herbs for sleep with some success. I plan on making a schisandra decoction for general health and sleep. It will be interesting to see if it helps.

  • AN1981AN1981 Posts: 13 ✭✭✭

    Chamomile tea! A nice warm magnesium bath is always helpful as well. Add lavender for extra calming effects.

  • DurwardPlessDurwardPless Posts: 65 ✭✭✭

    In the past I have had a severe problem going and staying asleep. I have started going to bed an hour earlier and have cut out drinking coffee after 2 PM. What a difference that has made. I will continue to tweek things but I am getting more and better quality sleep than I have since being a teenager.


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